Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Great expectations

It's funny how different dating is when you're older (and divorced) versus how it was before all that "life" changed you. When I was with X, I tried to be in charge. I made plans on our behalf, chose when we'd arrive, how we'd get there, and usually when we'd leave. Family events always trumped sports because...well, just because. Those priorities seemed obvious to me, and the fact that guys priorities were different was just proof that men need women in order to get through life.

Right.

Nowadays, I don't like being told what to do. Not to mention - I don't want to be in charge of anyone else. I've gotten so used to just being in charge of me, that I kind of like that mindset - and I don't want to give it up.

I realized the other day that I've invited Trooper to a lot of family events in the last couple of weeks. I told him I hope he doesn't feel dragged to anything, because I'd never want to do that. When I invite him to anything, it truly is a request, not an order. He's welcome, but not expected.

As a singleton, I've been to many events solo. At first, I thought I'd hate it; in fact, I avoided things like family parties, weddings, dinners - anything for which I once would have had a date, and now didn't. But eventually, I realized that learning to be a happy singleton was going to be the key to finding a happy relationship - so I sucked it up.

A party where you're literally the only single person is an interesting experience. Everyone should do it - seriously. Even if you're in a relationship, go somewhere without your other, where everyone else is with theirs. Stand back, on the outside and just take it in.

There's awkward silence, stares, flat-out-glares and looks to kill. There are the moments where she puts her hand on his elbow, hinting to shut up before he says something he shouldn't. Then there's the couple who are fighting before they even get in their car to go home.

That's always fun.
I've had those fights; they suck.

After the first party like that, when I came and left on my own schedule, talked to whoever I wanted, and left in peace - I vowed I'd never put myself (or anyone else) again. So far, I think I've been pretty good at sticking to that promise.

Sure, eventually something comes up where one half of the couple really doesn't want to go - and the other half needs the support. But you do that when you care about someone. I think the trick is knowing - and communicating - when someone is needed, and when they're wanted.

Those are the best expectations to set.

4 comments:

  1. I like this one. I never thought to look at the other couples while I was single.

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  2. Interesting point you brought up... "I don't want to be in charge of anyone else." Never thought about that, yet it makes so much sense.

    Great post.

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  4. I love this post! And I totally agree. It was strange going places single at first, especially family parties, but after a while it's nice to be on your own schedule with your own expectations. Easing back into a relationship would take some adjustment, but Trooper seems like a great guy! You can tell a lot about a person who is willing to accompany you to events that are important to you :)

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